Category archives: Genetics

Selective ignorance in science

Selective ignorance in science

GeneticsPhilosophy of sciencePlant biology

By Silvia Román

There is a strong tendency to consider that every scientific or technical solution to a particular problem is irrefutable. Nowadays, scientific and technological knowledge usually eludes public criticism and even we have seen how important government decision making were made by the so-called technocrats. We often forget the contingency of this knowledge, the fact that […]

Sex and the colony

Sex and the colony

BiologyGenetics

By Adela Torres

When the general media report news about genetics, there is a deplorable tendency towards gene determinism. Headlines in the vein of “Gene for X discovered”—where X is anything from a physical trait to a complex behavior—are regrettably common, and almost always incorrect. That’s why I face this article with some trepidation. Because, you see, there […]

Hybridization: no longer the bad guy

Hybridization: no longer the bad guy

BiologyEvolutionGenetics

By Rafael Medina

It is interesting how some ideas get stuck in our minds even long after it is proved that they are incorrect or incomplete. Haeckel’s Recapitulation Theory, which states that during the embryological development of an organism it undergoes through different stages recalling the evolutionary history of its ancestors (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny), is considered obsolete nowadays […]

The flick of a switch controls the fate of human parasites

The flick of a switch controls the fate of human parasites

BiologyBiomedicineGeneticsMolecular biology

By Carlos Romá-Mateo

The advances in molecular biology and the so called post-genomic era, have improved significantly the fight against many human diseases, in some cases almost leading to their eradication. However, there are still regions of our planet were people suffer from infections and other causes of mortality which are easily avoided in the most developed countries […]

When should a man be more interested in caring for his sister’s children than his wife’s?

When should a man be more interested in caring for his sister’s children than his wife’s?

AnthropologyEvolutionGenetics

By César Tomé

From the genetic point of view, when should a man be more interested in caring for his sister’s children than his wife’s? A quantitative analysis of Alan Rogers, University of Utah, shows that this behaviour should be the choice in populations where adultery is common or permitted. In the animal world, males caring for offspring […]

A mediator for horizontal gene transfer between eukaryotes and prokaryotes

A mediator for horizontal gene transfer between eukaryotes and prokaryotes

BiologyGeneticsMicrobiology

By Enrique Royuela

In biology few issues are as basic as the division and classification of living things. Despite the differences shown by taxa that occupy each of the categories, all living things have a common ancestor and characteristics that unite them. Since Linnaeus (in 1735) to the newest division created by Cavalier-Smith (in the late twentieth century) […]